This article is part of our DraftKings KBO series.
There's now a tie atop the KBO standings after the Lions beat the Wiz on Friday, with Tae In Won giving up two runs across 7.1 innings to secure the victory. Elsewhere, the Landers scored 10 runs in the first three innings and 12 overall to beat the Bears and move into a tie for fourth, with Jeong Beom Lee and Jeong Choi each grabbing two hits and a homer.
Five games will be played Saturday, but only three of those will be included in DraftKings' daily fantasy contests, as neither half of the Tigers-Dinos doubleheader will be featured. Given how small the slate is, I'll again break down each game individually, offering my thoughts on all six pitchers and which hitters I'd look to include against them before giving a pick on the moneyline and the over/under.
Wiz at Lions
William Cuevas, Wiz ($9,300): Cuevas owns a decent 4.20 ERA on the season, but at no point this year did he look like a 4.20-ERA type of pitcher. His roller coaster of a season saw him post a 6.40 ERA over his first 10 starts, a 0.57 ERA over his next five, a 7.71 over the following three and now a 1.35 ERA over his three starts so far in October. Those last three outings provide some justification for his lofty price tag, which looks like a mistake next to his season-long numbers, as he's struck out 30 batters while walking just five in 20 innings over that stretch. There's certainly potential for another big outing here, but there's downside as well, as Cuevas hasn't been close to consistent and will be stuck pitching in the league's most hitter-friendly park.
Lions hitters: The Lions' home park keeps them interesting against all but the league's best pitchers, and Cuevas doesn't fit into that category despite his recent run. Most of the Lions' top bats have been cold of late, which makes them tough to roster against a pitcher as hot as Cuevas, but Sang Su Kim ($3,000) is an interesting budget infielder after going 7-for-11 with five RBI over his last three games.
Jung Hyun Baek ($8,800): Baek's 2.69 ERA through 25 starts is good for second among qualified starters, which in theory means his high price tag is justified. There are a number of reasons to be skeptical despite that stellar mark, however. His peripherals are fairly mediocre, as his 8.4 percent walk rate is solid but comes with a below-average 16.8 percent strikeout rate. He was actually better in both the strikeout and walk department last season yet finished with a 5.19 ERA. If not for a .276 BABIP and an 80.9 percent strand rate this year, Baek would probably look pretty pedestrian. Toss in the fact that he's pitching against the fourth-ranked Wiz lineup in the league's most hitter-friendly park and it gets hard to have much faith in him, especially as he recently missed time with a calf injury and returned with a mediocre three-run, five-inning performance against the Heroes.
Wiz hitters: Baek isn't an easy opponent, but it's a tough group of pitchers, so his unimpressive underlying numbers combined with the Lions' hitter-friendly park make the Wiz one of the most attractive lineups on Saturday's slate. A right-handed stack of Jae Gyun Hwang ($4,800), Je Seong Bae ($3,700) and Han Joon Yoo ($2,400) could be interesting against the southpaw.
Picks: Wiz (-120) and Over 8.5 runs (-110). Cuevas' recent run and Baek's strong ERA make a decent case for this to go under, but it's a low total for such a hitter-friendly park and all it takes is one of the pitchers to be somewhat off to hit the over. I have more confidence in Cuevas than Baek given their respective recent forms, but a bet on the Lions is also defensible.
Twins at Bears
Min Ho Lee, Twins ($5,900): Lee, one of the top picks in the 2020 draft, has certainly had his moments this season, as he's allowed zero runs in six of his 20 starts, allowing no more than three runs in five of those outings. He hit a slump in late September, however, struggling to a 9.45 ERA, 1.80 WHIP and 9:9 K:BB over a four-outing stretch from September 23 through October 11. He bounced back in his most recent outing, though, giving up just one run on three hits in five innings against the Dinos. The bad and the good have mostly cancelled out for the young righty judging by his 4.44 ERA, though his 1.17 WHIP and his combination of a 20.3 percent strikeout rate and 9.1 percent walk rate both suggest he's deserved better. He's not reliable and has a tough matchup against the second-ranked Bears lineup, but there's far more to like here than there usually is with a pitcher in this price range.
Bears hitters: Lee may be a good value and isn't a pushover, but he's not good enough that you should avoid the Bears if you don't select him yourself. Jae Hwan Kim ($4,500) will get the platoon advantage against Lee and is about as cheap as you'll ever find him, so betting on him to bounce back from a slump which has seen him post a .493 OPS over his last 14 games isn't a bad idea.
Been Gwak, Bears ($8,100): Like Lee, Gwak is a young righty who's shown plenty of flashes this season, but it's hard to see why he should cost $2,200 more than his counterpart. He beats Lee with a 3.99 ERA in his 19 starts, but the rest of his statline is far less convincing. While his 20.9 percent strikeout rate is solidly above average, control has been a real problem, leading to a 17.3 percent walk rate and a 1.61 WHIP. Walks have become particularly problematic over his last five starts, as he's issued 24 free passes in 23.1 innings over that stretch. He hasn't actually been punished for those walks, as he owns a 2.31 ERA in those outings, but that isn't a sustainable path to success.
Twins hitters: Gwak wouldn't necessarily be near the bottom of many slates but finds himself there Saturday among a small and talented group of starters. Many of the Twins' best bats have been cold lately, and pitcher-friendly Jamsil Baseball Stadium doesn't help the case for a stack, but Chang Ki Hong ($4,600) has been a premier on-base threat as always, hitting .419/.550/.516 over his last nine games.
Picks: Twins (-115) and Over 8.5 runs (-110). This is a tough one, as both pitchers are talented but could blow up in any given start. The over/under is low enough that it will just take one modest implosion to hit the over, which seems like the smart bet. Gwak is the more likely pitcher to struggle given his command issues, so I'll side with the Twins.
Eagles at Giants
Ryan Carpenter, Eagles ($6,500): It's strange seeing Carpenter as one of the cheapest options on the slate, and it's not hard to make the case that he's mispriced. He's been one of the league's top strikeout arms throughout the season, as his 24.3 percent strikeout rate ranks second among qualified starters, giving him big fantasy upside every time he takes the mound. For most of the season, that translated to a strong ERA, as he owned a mark of 2.98 through the end of August. He's run into trouble since then, posting a 6.50 ERA since the start of September. He's still had plenty of strong outings over that stretch, though, including his last time out against the Wiz, when he allowed a single unearned run while striking out seven batters in six innings.
Giants hitters: Carpenter is a strong choice given his price, but his inconsistency of late means you shouldn't completely ignore the Giants' top bats if you don't include the lefty yourself. The Giants are full of affordable, right-handed hitters, with Jun Woo Jeon ($4,000) standing out as the one who's been in the best form lately.
Dan Straily, Giants ($7,300): Like Carpenter, it's hard to understand why Straily is as affordable as he is on this slate. He hasn't been nearly as good as he was last season, when his 2.50 ERA and 1.02 WHIP made him one of the top pitchers in the entire league, but his 4.12 ERA and 1.39 WHIP this season are still enough to justify his low price tag even if that's all you think he is. He's pitched much better recently, however, cruising to a 2.41 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over his last six outings while striking out 41 batters in 33.2 innings. Toss in the fact that he gets to face the ninth-ranked Eagles lineup and he starts to look like probably the best available option.
Eagles hitters: The Eagles don't have much to offer to begin with, and they're facing arguably the best pitcher on the slate. There's little reason to look here, though Jae Hoon Choi ($4,700) stands out as one of the best catchers on a slate which doesn't contain the Dinos and therefore doesn't contain Eui Ji Yang.
Picks: Giants (-115) and Under 9.5 runs (-110). For some reason, the highest over/under among these games features two of the strongest pitchers and one of the weakest lineups. The under is an easy pick here, and I prefer Straily to Carpenter and the Giants' lineup to the Eagles', so the Giants pick is fairly easy as well.